One person was shot and killed in Portland, Oregon Saturday night after a caravan of hundreds of vehicles carrying Trump supporters drove into the city center during a demonstration.
The city has been the site of nightly protests over police brutality and the police killings of Black Americans since George Floyd was killed by four Minneapolis officers in May.
The shooting victim was wearing a hat with the insignia of Patriot Prayer, a far-right group that has “has regularly attended, hosted and engaged in violence at Portland protests through the years,” according to Oregon Public Broadcasting (OPB).
OPB reported that it was “uncertain whether the shooting is directly connected to the competing protests.”
The shooting came days after Kyle Rittenhouse, a 17-year-old who traveled from Illinois to Kenosha, Wisconsin last week amid protests in the city over the police shooting of Jacob Blake, was charged with the shooting deaths of two demonstrators. Rittenhouse had attended a Trump rally in January.
President Donald Trump focused heavily on the protests in Portland at the Republican National Convention last week, saying in his address on Thursday night that a victory for Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden in the November general election would “make every city look like Democrat-run Portland, Oregon.”
“No one will be safe in Biden’s America,” the president said.
Following the Saturday night shooting, Trump repeated his frequent call for “law and order!” on Twitter.
Rev. William Barber of the Poor People’s Campaign responded to the president’s tweet, saying Trump’s “support for racists and his lack of support for justice are at the center of all we see happening.”
Trump is President of the unlawful & the disorderly. Don’t get it twisted: his support for racists & his lack of support for justice are at the center of all we see happening.
— Rev. Dr. William J. Barber II (@RevDrBarber) August 30, 2020
The president did not comment publicly on Blake’s shooting until Saturday, when he said only that “it was not a good sight,” but declined to say whether the office involved should be held accountable. In 2017, he drew outrage when he claimed that there were “very fine people on both sides” of clashes that broke out at a white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, killing anti-racist protester Heather Heyer. Since then, he has downplayed police killings of Black Americans and called the Black Lives Matter movement a “symbol of hate” while defending Confederate monuments.
Political observers over the weekend noted that Biden has been called on in recent days to condemn violence at the protests in Kenosha—and has done so—while the corporate press has shown little interest in pressuring Trump to condemn the shooting of the two protesters last week and the shooting of Blake.
Why does the media pressure Biden to speak out against violent protests but doesn’t pressure trump to speak out against police misconduct?
— Matthew Dowd (@matthewjdowd) August 28, 2020
It doesn't even pressure him to speak out against his fans killing people https://t.co/mKUVJB9LT8
— Michelle Goldberg (@michelleinbklyn) August 29, 2020
Trump declined on Saturday to condemn the shooting deaths of the two protesters in Kenosha.
Biden repeatedly denounced rioting, faces continuing calls to denounce rioting. Meanwhile: https://t.co/4kEoHP4cQi
— Don Moynihan (@donmoyn) August 29, 2020
Biden announced Sunday that he plans to again condemn violence and address the “chaos” that has “unfolded on Trump’s watch” in a speech on Monday, according to the New York Times. Trump is also expected to travel to Kenosha on Tuesday to meet with law enforcement.
On Friday, the Biden campaign released an ad countering the president’s message about a lack of safety in “Biden’s America.”
The President incites violence, inspires white-supremacist shooters, and his failed COVID response is costing thousands of lives per day. When you look at the world right now, ask yourself: Do you feel safe in Trump’s America? pic.twitter.com/Ztp6TdSwKk
— Joe Biden (@JoeBiden) August 28, 2020
Biden highlighted a St. Louis couple who brandished firearms at racial justice protesters this summer and were then invited to speak at the Republican National Convention, a shooting by a white supremacist in a Walmart in El Paso last year, and the Charlottesville rally where white supremacists carried torches and chanted, “Jews will not replace us,” only to receive tacit approval from the president.
“Do you feel safe in Trump’s America?” Biden asked viewers.
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